Math Fest 2015 was held on August 3, 2015. It was a school-wide event involving children from all classes, pre-school to class XII. They were all engaged in hands-on interactive problem solving of some kind or the other. The event had an explorative festival like atmosphere.
The idea behind the Math Fest was to provide mathematical challenges to children and present an exposition of mathematical concepts in a visual form to make them accessible to a diverse audience.
There were about forty activity stations, each one focusing on a key math concept presented in the form of a problem, pattern, exploration, game or puzzle. Many of the activities were organised around the theme of symmetry.
During the preparatory build-up to the event, children worked collaboratively in pairs or groups of four to make presentations to the visitors. Solving these problems required both basic mathematical skills as well as higher order thinking skills.
All the activities were hands-on and interactive. At some stations, geometric shapes and geometric 3-D models which had been prepared by the students were used, and at other counters, seeds and paper strips were used. Many of the tasks could be attempted at different levels, thus meeting the needs of young students as well as holding out a challenge for the older ones as well.
At the end of the day, two short films were screened, each with a mathematical theme. One of them was The Dot and the Line – a romance in lower dimensions; it is a charming story about geometrical entities, with extremely witty dialogues. The other one was Flatland; it is based on a novel of the same name, written by Edwin Abbott more than a century back. It features an imaginary two-dimensional world in which a few of the inhabitants become aware of the third dimension and of attempts by the State to conceal this fact. Children seemed to enjoy both the movies greatly.
Children and teachers alike seemed to enjoy the event, but a few felt that it could have been spread out over two days rather than be packed into a single day. We hope to have another such event a year later.
– Mathematics faculty of Sahyadri School